New Zealand’s Stock Market Website Goes Down Again

August 30, 2020 Updated: August 30, 2020

WELLINGTON—The New Zealand stock market’s website crashed again on Monday, the fifth day in row after a series of cyber attacks last week hit the bourse’s ability to operate normally.

The disruption came about an hour after NZX Ltd. said it had agreed with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) on a back-up plan for the release of market announcements in the event of another attack, allowing it to keep local markets open.

Trading has been unaffected.

A spokesman for NZX confirmed the website was down, but said trading on its platform, which began at 10.00 a.m. local time (2200 GMT), was continuing as usual through the contingency arrangements.

NZX Ltd. faced disruptions for four days last week when it was hit repeatedly by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, a common way to disrupt a server by overwhelming it with a flood of internet traffic.

The attacks affected NZX’s ability to publish market announcements to the public, forcing it to halt trading in order to maintain market integrity, it said.

The closures halted share market trading and disrupted operations in its debt market, Fonterra Shareholders Market and derivatives market.

The bourse said it is working with its network’s service provider, Spark, government cybersecurity agencies, and a U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Akamai Technologies to implement additional security measures.

New Zealand, a relatively small economy with a population of five million, is not often the target of such attacks but neighbouring Australia ramped up its cyber security this year after a rise in similar incidents.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said last week the Government Communications Security Bureau and the national agency fighting cyber crime had been called in to help the bourse.

“NZX has been advised by independent cyber specialists that the attacks last week are among the largest, most well-resourced and sophisticated they have ever seen in New Zealand,” NZX’s Chief Executive, Mark Peterson said in a statement on Monday.

NZX said the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has sent a warning notice to New Zealand companies about the attacks.